Tag Archives: Christmas shopping

Remember to refuel this Yule

Santa’s law – never shop on an empty stomach!

So if you’ve been out pounding the streets looking for that perfect something for that special someone, remember to also stop to feed yourself.  Because an empty stomach only makes for disastrous gifts.  So put down the festive tie and sock set for dad and eat something!  Your family and friends will thank you.

Fortunately nestled in between the shops of Glasgow are ample eateries ready and waiting to replenish your energy – send you off fed, full and ready to finish off that Christmas list.

Berits and Brown

Possibly boasting the best sandwiches in town – this light-filled, friendly delicatessen in Glasgow’s Merchant City (Wilson Street) offers deli eating at its best with hearty soups, deli platters, cheese and tapas boards.   And then there’s the gourmet sandwiches. The Mediterranean on toasted focaccia stuffed with roasted veg, hummus and mozza is divine.  And at £8.99 leaves plenty left over for Christmas gifts….or dessert.

Pinto

Restock your energy quickly and inexpensively.  If you‘re short on time and want to save those pennies for presents, Pinto on Queen Street is perfect.  This healthy Mexican ‘fast-food’ option promises ‘a fiesta in your mouth’.  The quirky colourful shop offers hearty flavourful burritos, tacos, nachos and more with an abundance of fillings.  And all hovering around the £5 – really you can’t go wrong.  No reservation required and if you’re pushed for time, you can take away.

Kember and Jones

If you’re trekking through the West End and desperately need a break, rest your tired feet and feed your soul at the welcoming Kember and Jones.  But be warned, there will be a queue – but on the bright side, it will be well worth the wait.

This ‘Fine Food Emporium’ welcomes you with the most delicious of smells and friendliest staff.   Their in-house chefs expertly prepare the most scrumptious cakes, tarts, scones, muffins, bread, soups and more. And their signature espresso blend coffee is sure to put that spring back in your step.

The Italian Caffé Enoteca

food at Italian caffe in GlasgowYou’ve done it!  You scowered those shops, fought through crowds and ticked off all those lovelies on your Christmas list.  Hooray.  Now it’s time to get away from the madness of the shops and treat yourself to something delectable.  And there’s no better place to do this than the Italian Cafe tucked away on Albion Street.

Their weekday lunch menu is extensive and their titillating taster menu allows you to sample four small plates from just £8.95.   The food is so wonderful that admittedly you may never want to leave.

Happy shopping (and eating!)

-T

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The quest for the Ragged Trousered Philanthropist

Christmas shopping for my husband is normally frustrating and challenging – but not this year.

Combining his love of books and politics I set off on a trawl of the West End’s second hand bookshops in search of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist .

Alba Musik – rare books and music lovers

First stop, Alba Musik on Otago Street , a shop ‘run by a musician for musicians’ that stocks rare books and sheet music.  Calm instantly washes over me as I’m greeted by a tangible house of books – the wall is a neatly stacked masterpiece of words and wonder. The owner is lovely and incredibly helpful, trying to help me in my quest for The Philanthropist.  And although, in the end, we don’t find it, I’ve discovered a magical solitude and managed to pick up another Christmas present just the same. 

Voltaire and Rousseau – welcome to the world of discovery

Voltaire book shopEncouraged, my next stop is Voltaire and Rousseau on Otago Lane.  This enchanting hide-away is to be admired.  Around since the early 1970’s, there’s piles of books balancing precariously on each other – everywhere you turn another book – really barely room to move.  

You can’t rush in a place like this and really why would you want to.  Instead dive in –  bury yourself in the wonderful world of books; there’s hours of searching and discovery at your fingertips.   To my delight I’m told they recently had a copy of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist – to my dismay, someone has beaten me to it.  I leave my name and number just in case another resurfaces.

Caledonia Books – literary lounge heaven

Undeterred I’m onto Caledonia Books.  This quaint bookshop has been around for the last 25 years and the owners have successfully created complete comfort in the wee lounge area tucked away from piles of books that guard the wrought iron spiral staircase.  As Kafka says “A good book is the best friend there is.”  And in this solace I am truly surrounded by friends – though unfortunately The Philanthropist is not among them.   And so I move on.

Create your own tale – this Christmas support your local bookstore

Admittedly with a few clicks of the mouse I could probably find The Philanthropist online – but the utter joy and satisfaction in finding it tucked between the shelves of one of these captivating bookshops is worth so much more.   And of course there’s also the story of the chase! 

I may not have found the book (yet) but I have managed to lose myself in magical world of discovery for the afternoon – in fact  it’s some of the most pleasurable Christmas shopping I’ve done, even if I’m still two steps behind The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist.

The quest continues.

– B

Joy to the world – I’ve found the perfect Christmas gift!

There’s less than a month till the big day and usually this countdown sends me into absolute panic.  What and where to get that perfect gift for all the people in your life?

Christmas shopping is enough to drive even the most sane batty.  And I totally sympathise.  So here’s a few of the great places in Glasgow that will set your mind at ease and make your shopping a snap without breaking the bank.

The quirky

De Courcy’s Arcade on Creswell Street is home to a variety of shops and an absolute treasure trove of wonderful things.   The Maisonette is just one of the fantastic shops and is a must for any of those hard-to-buy excentrics.

Describing itself as ‘a gloryhole of unusual homewares, stationery, art, gifts, textiles, music and more’, it truly has something for everyone and even better has treats and trinkets for all price ranges from 1-100 quid!

Christmas tree at Maia shop, Glasgow
Maia – something for everyone

The person with everything

Maia is quickly becoming one of my favorite shops – boasting some of the most unique gift ideas and possibly the friendliest staff and best customer service in Glasgow; this lovely shop is a must stop.  Whether you’re looking for him, her, friends, family, colleagues or the kids, you’ll find it here.

Tucked down the stairs on 21 Bath Street this magical wee shop is stocking stuffer heaven and offers some of the most original and well priced jewellery, books, bags, kids stuff and best novelty gifts in the city.  And so much more – so go, you won’t be disappointed.

The man

As the saying goes, food is the way to a man’s heart – and no more so than in January.  Because once the festive season bubble has busted along with the bank account, it’s nice to have a delicious meal to look forward to – so treat him with a gift certificate to somewhere delicious.  Some of our absolute favorites  are for the semi-traditionalist – Left Bank ; for the quirky cool dude The Tiki Bar  and for the foodie –Two Fat Ladies – possibly serving up some of the best food on the planet – let alone in Glasgow.

Failing that, warm his heart (and body) with a choice bottle of whisky from the Whiskey Shop  in the Buchanan Galleries.  And give him the perfect resting spot in one of the inviting, comfy chairs from Nancy Smillie’s shop in the West End.

The fashionista

Also located at De Courcy’s Arcade on Creswell Lane, Miss Lotti Lou’s specialises in creating beautiful made-to-measure 40’s and 50’s inspired fashion – that much more authentic because it’s all created from vintage and repurposed materials.  You’ll definitely be on the top of the best gift of 2011 list.

You

Yes, don’t forget to treat yourself – especially as you’ve been out pounding the pavement for everyone else.  You’ve scoured the shops – and you know where to get the most wonderful gifts – so go for it,  you totally deserve it!

-T